Mini Mission Monday ~ Too much of a good thing

Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It takes the guess work out of decluttering and makes it easy and “fun” for you to achieve some quick decluttering.

Today I am going to focus our mini missions on areas in our lives where we might have too much of a good thing. That is, I want you to choose an area that you have far too many of a similar category of clutter items, it might be sentimental objects, objects you feel obligated to keep but have no real love for, hobby / craft items, clothing items etc.

Instead of giving you a separate mission each day I just want you to choose one object from your chosen category to declutter each day. Start with the easiest item to part with, analyse why you have kept it so long, learn from that inward exploration and then move on to a different object the next day. Hopefully making progress each day will make it easier to part with the next item and in the end you might declutter more than seven.

Here are some categories of areas I had in mind but feel free to work on whatever best suits your needs.

  • Sentimental items ~ particularly ones that you don’t really like but just keep because they remind you of something you aren’t likely to forget about anyway. Enjoying the here and now or even looking forward is usually more satisfying or productive than reminiscing on days gone by.
  • Obligation clutter ~ Items you only keep because you feel you should, things someone gave you like unwanted gifts or family heirlooms rank high in this category.
  • Aspirational Clutter ~ Things you “really are” going to get around to using/trying some day. Craft or hobby clutter that is excess to your needs.
  • “I might need that some day” clutter ~ We all know what these are, things that you keep because they are so useful yet you never use them but you “may need them someday”. Tools, kitchen items, odds and ends like bottle of buttons, spare parts, excess furniture in the back shed etc.
  • Things you keep meaning to put on eBay ~ Either do it or donate them to charity but it is time something was done. (I am going to do a basic step by step eBay listing post on Tuesday to help anyone struggling with this).
  • Clothing and shoes ~ If you only have enough clothing items to suit your needs (and washing routine) the likelihood that they will wear out before they go out of style or you get sick of them increases. Hoping that items will come back into style or that you will loose weight and fit into them again is likely to cause you more greif than just cutting your loses, placing pressure on your wardrobe space or your psyche.

If you have any questions or struggles as you perform this week’s task please feel free to contact me either through comments or via my contact page (if you don’t want the world to see it). I am always here to help spur you on with your declutter mission, so don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

Buying clothing is a tricky business, it pays to stick with the styles that suit you the most, are practical for the climate you live in and are classic in style and won’t date easily. The items in this pile were either uncomfortable after wearing for a while, out of style, weren’t particularly practical or “seemed like a good idea at the time”. The oldest piece is about ten years old and the newest is about two years old. Now they are going to the thrift store in the hope that someone else will like them.

Some of my clothing items

 Something I Am Grateful For Today

I am grateful for the new leaves growing on my one and only indoor plant. It is a strange plant in so much as it has never changed from the day my daughter bought it for me about three years ago. It gets neglected at times but never dies nor grows when it is well tended but all of a sudden it has sprouted new leaves. Mine is not to reason why, I shall just enjoy the new growth in the middle of winter and be satisfied.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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Continue reading with these posts:

  • Following my own advice As the title suggests I have been taking my own advice and finding ten minutes daily this week to declutter some stuff around my house. And although the difference is small I feel a whole […]
  • Effortless Decluttering Last week Kayote left a comment on my Righteousness post where she explains how difficult it is for her to find time to declutter. I have to admit I do sympathise living a double income, […]
  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Time for yet another category declutter Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Colleen,

    I have collected teacups for quite awhile. When my husband’s great uncle died, my mother in law asked if there was anything we would like from his house. I told her about my teacup collection and I ended up with probably l5 teacups and saucers to add to my collection. I have put them out on the shelves in the dining room, trying to decide whether or not I want to keep SO MANY TEACUPS!

    I did my kitchen drawers yesterday and came up with a bunch of stuff that we don’t use or that was in the wrong place. I need to go through it again with my husband because he cooks more than I do, but it’s not a good time for him as he just lost his dad. His decluttering is kind of on hold. I have been using it as a way to keep my mind off of things. I should be doing photos right now!

    Thanks for the suggestion. Not only am I thinking teacups, I also have a stacking doll and fish knife my mother brought me from Alaska that I really don’t like but feel obligated to keep. I don’t know why and I don’t think she would care if I donated them…


    • Hi Chelle,
      thinking about and considering items for decluttering is the first and very important step to decluttering them, especially if they are items that hold some sort of value to you especially sentimental of obligational. Breaking the ties to these items before you send them out the door is essential to not regretting the move later on. Well done Chelle and good luck.

      Give my sincere sympathy to your husband and I hope he feel better soon. It is a hard time for him so you are right not to thrust any unnecessary decision making on him at this time. Give him time to adjust and continue on with your own stuff.

      • Thanks, Colleen. Today I am decluttering pantyhose. Three pair. I am resolving to never, EVER wear these torture devices again. Is there a way to send you pictures of items we are getting rid of for your entertainment?


        • Hi Chelle,
          I completely agree, pantyhose are a torture divice, if people can’t appreciate my legs for the way God made them they can look away.

          As for the question about sending me pictures, since I have commented on you blog posts before you should have access to my email address. Check there and if not I let me know and I will email you the address.

  2. Colleen, you will recall I am sure the tottering stalagmites that my partner has a penchant for as well as piles of boxes of unsorted stuff that haven’t been completely sorted yet.
    Well I have now found the perfect way of dealing with them… partner of 9 yrs, completely out of the blue last week proposed to me. And all of a sudden his clutter doesn’t matter…in fact what clutter? Rofl. A proposal brings perfect rose tinted specs :O)

    We are determined to gently ensure people understand we want no presents, just their presence at our wedding. No more clutter! We don’t need anything and we have each other. If people insist, we will ask for help with the garden/and or help with practicalities with the wedding. And we will be having a very simple wedding.

    • WOW Katharine, congratulations. Of course you will have to send me a photo of the happy day. Yay for you.

      Don’t leave those rose coloured glasses on for too long though or those stalagmites will grow and multiply. 😆

      • Many thanks Colleen. I’ll make a note about the photo,lol.
        You’ll have to do a post about the danger of rose tinted specs in about December I reckon,LOL.

        • Actually the rose tinted glasses thing would be a good idea really for those contemplating moving in together. One needs to sort out the logistics of combining two households before that physically even takes place rather than be surrounded with two fo every thing. Realising that you hate certain clutter habit of the other person is important (instead of seeing through those rose coloured glasses) before it is too late and things get a whole lot more complication.

          Maybe I need to enlist the help of people who have gone through this situation as I have no first had experience.

    • Katharine, Congratulations and best wishes! No wonder your partner proposed, it is pretty clear from your comments over time that you are a caring and respectful person who tries to help the declutter process without controlling the person in the midst of it. And as goes decluttering, so go many of life’s challenges as a married couple. May you have a glorious simple wedding and many happy years together.

  3. My items are an Easter-egg coloring kit, my grandpa’s old jacket, some clothes and flip flops, a purse I was trying to sell and old photo frames.
    Good Bye to them all! Thanks so much for the post!

    • Hi Angie Kay,
      it is never very hard to find more things when you are determined enough. Building up that determination is what gets the momentum happening. Well done!

  4. I can’t wait to see the post on how to list on ebay. I have about a thousand items ( I’m serious) sitting in my basement ready to sell on ebay. I can’t figure out how to load my pictures onto the computer to list the items. I have never sold anything on ebay for this reason, although I have bought plenty. I have had great success selling books on since I didn’t need to supply my own picture. I almost gave up and donated it all to charities, but I have already did plenty of that this year (as I do every year), and the tax deductions are already as high as I can go. If I could list this stuff (lots of good collectables, tools and so on) I seriously will put the cash into getting my dream SUV to park in my cleaned and decluttered garage. Any help and guidance will be most appreciated.

    • Hi Kathy,
      I am sorry to say a lesson on downloading photos wasn’t part of the information I have included in tomorrows post. I was working on the assumption that we could all do that, sorry. However I am always here to help if I can.

      Most computers already have some sort of photo editing software included which should automatically activate when you attach your digital camera to your computer via a USB cable and turn the camera on. This software should bring up a list of thumbnails of the photos that are on your camera’s memory card. All you have to do is highlight the photos you want to upload and follow the prompts that the program provides. Choose a file to save them in and you are good to go.

      My laptop had iphoto loaded when I got it but I downloaded Picasa because I prefer it. It is fairly basic and simple to use.

      i may be prattling on with a whole lot of information that you already know but isn’t working for you so I will stop right here for now. Let me know is any of this information has helped.

    • I’m curious about the deductions it seems happen in the US for charity donations – we don’t have that in Australia. If we give it to charity, that’s the end of the story – there’s no tax rebate, just a warm fuzzy feeling. How does it work? Does it encourage people to give to charity (or just encourage people to purge and buy again?)

      • Hi Snosie,
        I am not sure what they are encouraging but having lived in the USA for seven years I can assure you they are a very generous people as a whole. The opportunities to donate or assist with a charity, for example soup kitchens and homeless shelters are very accessible and from what I can gather well attended. Children were very much encouraged to be involved. When I lived there I didn’t need to leave my home to donate my household goods, charities would phone every couple of months to ask if I had anything to donate and if I did they would tell me what day to have it sitting on my doorstep for them to pick up.

        With each donation, no matter what the item ~ household goods, cars, furniture etc, a receipt would be issued to you and you just had to fill in the description and value. i assume a little trust in honesty was given here by the IRS but I never claimed on anything I donated so I wouldn’t know how people went about valuing the donation. These receipts were submitted with you tax return I as a deduction from your earnings.

        By the way, in the USA I believe you can also deduct home loan interest from your tax return as well. Wouldn’t that be nice!!!!!!!

  5. Lawd, woman, is it Monday already?

    Seriously, though, your suggestions on Mondays are among my favourites. Concrete, concise, and always bringing me back to the basic concept of a thing a day.

    • Hi Jo,
      and I am always glad to be of help. So what’s on your list this week?

      • I’ve decided to declutter things from three categories (clothing/shoes, obligation, and I-might-use-it-someday) instead of seven items from one category. These are my hardest categories, and I’m not sure I can declutter seven items in such a short time from any one of them – but I think I can do a couple of items from EACH of them. And that’s a start.

        So far, I’ve got one pair of shoes, one pair of sandals, and one ornament to go. The I-might-use-it-someday is definitely going to be the most wrenching category, but it will be good to get even a few things of that nature dealt with.

        • Hi Jo,
          mix it up a bit if that works for you. If you need a little help with being realistic about the “I might use it some day” item you know you can always ask for a little sound advice from a third party, namely me. 😉

          • Thanks for the offer, Colleen, I seem to be having particular trouble with that category. I will give it a try this week, as above, and see how things go 🙂 It’s good to know I can get advice if I am stumped.